In Other News: Rosetta Comet Landing

A look at a current news item through the lens of different titles available on GVRL.

By Michelle Eickmeyer

The European Space Agency (ESA) has landed something on a comet. This, frankly, is astounding. The Rosetta mission began 2 March 2004, involved dipping into gravitation fields three times for a boost (Earth’s twice, and Mar’s once. Ever play crack the whip as a kid? Similar principle.); a three year, mid-flight nap; and more than two months of “preparing for landing.” Sure, the Philae Lander had a bit of a bump when it landed. That it happened at all — well, that’s just something. ESA has a fantastic animation, with timelines, on the decade-long voyage.

Naturally, the Philae lander has a twitter account, @Philae2014, where you can get updates & photos.

Here are five titles that look at a comet landing from different perspectives:

Amazing Feats in Aerospace Engineering, 1st Edition. ABDO Publishing, 2015.

 Cruelly, some of the most valuable lessons in life, and space, are learned at the loss of another. In January 1967, NASA learned that the difference between “normal air” and 100% oxygen made a big difference to the men of Apollo I. In 1970, Apollo 13 reminded them that when things go horribly wrong, you can turn it around with some ingenuity. Through the triaumphs and tests The Challenger Disaster in 1986. The launch and establishment of the International Space Station in 1998. The Columbia Disaster in 2003.

Discoveries in Modern Science: Exploration, Invention, and Technology, 1st Edition. Macmillan Reference, 2015.

What exactly is a comet, and why might someone want to land something on it? And why is it so difficult to get to and/or land on one? Explore the history of previous space missions to comets in this new title. Consider this: when Halley’s Comet, or properly Comet Halley, returned to the Earth’s atmosphere for the first time in more than 75 years in 1986, several crafts were sent to analyze and photograph it. Japan sent two instrument probes. The science community rejoiced at their detection of water and other life-sustaining elements… which were detected from the safe and quite unbelievable distance of 94,000 miles. At the time, that was the closest we’d gotten yet. This week? Much closer.

Encyclopedia of Transportation: Social Science and Policy, 1st Edition. Sage Publications, 2014.

Is visiting space on your bucket list? From space cargo services to personal transportation, privatized space travel has captured the imagination of many. Explore the background and current climate of this developing,and not uncontroversial, field of commerce.

Ethics, Science, Technology, and Engineering, 2nd Edition. Gale, 2014.

The Chinese have been hurtling things into space to see what happens for longer than everyone. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), rockets were used for both military and festival celebrations. Take a look at the long history of this space pioneer, and other topics including planets, telescopes and more, in this newly updated title.

Space Exploration and Humanity: A Historical Encyclopedia, 1st Edition. ABC-CLIO, 2011.

Who, or what, exactly is the ESA? For information on who they are (and aren’t), how they make and spend their money, and what other projects (through 2009) they’ve completed, look to this title.


photoAbout the Author

Michelle is an “anytime!” traveler and language enthusiast. She has degrees in talking from Central Michigan and Michigan State University. She is currently becoming a runner and used to play golf in high school.



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